Expansion is top of mind for AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson, the three companies that control over 80% of U.S. drug distribution to pharmacies, nursing homes and hospitals. McKesson and AmerisourceBergen have looked to Europe, while Cardinal Health is increasing sales in China.
A TechNavio report predicts the global hospital-based electronic medical records market will have a 7.46% compound annual growth rate from 2012 to 2016, driven in part by the growing need for cloud tools and advanced health monitoring services. EMR vendors including McKesson are expected to lead the market through 2016, according to the report.
McKesson's bid for Germany-based Celesio doesn't mean the company will seek to buy U.S. pharmacy companies, McKesson CEO John Hammergren said. "We do not anticipate merging with a larger retailer and don't believe that would be in our best interest or the retailer's best interest," he said.
German firm Celesio reportedly is in separate discussions with Cardinal Health and McKesson over a partial sale, according to sources. "Celesio is among the top players in the European and Brazilian pharmaceutical trading sector and is an obvious takeover target," said DZ Bank analyst Thomas Maus in a client note.
McKesson said it plans to pay health insurers and consumers $350 million to end a 2006 case alleging that the company and First DataBank unlawfully raised average wholesale costs of some prescription medicines. McKesson denies any wrongdoing but said it will set aside about $143 million to pay for unsettled and anticipated future claims by public entities that pay for pharmaceuticals.